He stood there looking at himself in the mirror. Adjusting his shirt for the 1000th time. Sweaty palms were making it hard for him to button his last button. So he left it. As he checked the time on his phone he panicked, realising that he was going to be late. He couldn’t afford to be late.
Scanning the room for anything that might have been forgotten, he proceeded to the door. One last scan. Just in case. A slight jump as he realised he was about to forget the one thing that was going to make this evening special. He slowly glided to his bed, where the object was laying. A lock in the shape of two hearts intertwined. Grabbing it, he leaves.
His palms started to sweat profusely as he gripped the steering wheel of his car. Driving over to her house made him giddy. His breaths were short and fast. These feelings shocked him, way back when he first saw her. He never thought that he would be a victim to them. But now they have taken him hostage. Gagged and bound, following only her. So he drives on. Towards his salvation. Towards the woman who quenches his thirst.
He finally reached her house and parked outside. While he waited, he pushed the lock even further under the car seat. He does not want to spoil the surprise.
His head is down and doesn’t notice the front door swing open to her house. She stepped out, pausing for a moment. She smiles, inhales and walks with a purpose towards his car. He gets startled, bumping his head. She giggles. And he sighs.
They gel well together. A yin and yang of balance. What one might lack, the other will have in abundance. A perfectly timed balletic Grand Pas De Deux. She can’t stop smiling and nor can he. For tonight is the night of creating even more memories. Of new smiles, of meaningful conversations, of connecting. Both phones will be turned off. They will be present in the moment.
She hesitates when he gestures to blindfold her. He wants it to be a surprise. She gives in and accepts. The fabric is placed upon her delicate features. Once tied, he kisses her softly on the cheek. Skin of porcelain perfection. The car starts, their destination awaits.
He had this idea for about 2 months. He wanted to figure out a way to show this magically complexed creature sitting next to him, just how much she has changed him for the better. But how could one who comes from meagre beginnings show something like this? She had money. And he did not. In the beginning it had made him feel inferior. Like he was not able to provide. He improvised for their dates. He would take her to the beach, lighting a fire that would flicker off their faces as they kissed. He took her to the mountains for a hike and made her hunt for treasure. Treasure that he buried for her. It wasn’t anything special, just some chocolates in a metal tin. He packed a lunch that he prepared with his own two hands and took her on a road trip. Seeing the setting sun at the side of a picturesque lake. As she smiled brightly with each gesture, he realised there and then, that this was his everything. To continue making her smile. That was it. Nothing else mattered in this world. He snapped out of his dream. Almost at the destination now. Sweaty palms still at the wheel.
She sat there patiently blindfolded, her other senses becoming even more heightened. She tried to ask questions but he wouldn’t give anything away. So she sat there in silence, feeling a calming sensation wash over her as a cool breeze brushed along her face and into her curly brown hair. She loved him deeply. The first time they met he pretended to be like all the other rich men that she knew. Because that’s what he thought she was attracted to. Looks can be deceiving, she supposed. He saw her and immediately thought she only responded to her kind, the rich. Little did he know. She got angry and told him to not assume so much. That’s when he got down on his knees and begged her to marry him. Making light of an awkward situation. Out loud, out of the blue, in front of everyone. Ballsy, yet playful. And then she became intrigued. Who was this idiot who professes love so quickly for all the world to see? He begged for her to say yes to one date the entire evening. She declined. But then they started talking. He let his guard down a little and that’s when she saw something. A glistening, a spark. He asked one final time and she accepted. To her, looking back at that moment now, was the best decision she has ever made.
The car slowed and the breeze wilted away. She heard him rustle around for something. Suddenly the car door opened and he got out. Before she knew it the car door on her side swung open. She could feel his nervous excitement oozing off of him. And she cracked out a tiny lopsided smile. His hands guided her out of the car. Closing the door ever so gently as to not startle her. Slowly his hand moved up her arm as he moved to the side of her so he could be able to guide her better. They walked about 20 metres and that’s when she heard the sound of the waves. The beach, she proclaimed. And suddenly her blindfold came off. Her eyes adjusted, focus becoming clear.
He positioned her in the right spot. On a pier that looked out to the calming sea. As she admired the view he, from out of nowhere, took out the lock of intertwined hearts to present to her. Her smile turned from a surprised one into a loving one as he explained his reasoning behind the lock. It was supposed to represent them, he said. Together, for the long haul. If she could have melted into his arms, she would have.
In her hands was a letter that he had written for her. A poem, of sorts, for her eyes only.
‘This lock symbolises us. Together.
Two hearts intertwined, beating to the same rhyme.
Solid, sturdy, long-lasting.
The beats dance together. Caressing one another.
When one falters, the other shall be by its side.
Helping. Nurturing. Loving.
This lock is the two of us intertwined. Embedded deep beneath our souls where eternity is calling.’
A tear fell as she read the last line. He wiped it away, an instinctual habit.
As they both held the lock in their hands they said a wish internally to themselves without the other knowing and finalised it with kiss. A lingering kiss. One where time stops. Where the heavens part and the stars shine down. Brightness. A glowing sensation. Their lips let go and their eyes meet…as if for the very first time.
The lock was clamped shut at 21:33. And the key was thrown into the gentle churning waves of the sea far beyond the pier. In that moment, for them at least, was perfection. It was their utopian moment.
-This was a short story based around the (above) photo that I took in Limassol, Cyprus. Sometimes stories pop into my head from the photos that I take but I rarely ever write them down. I thought maybe it’s time to start doing that, here and there. Just to keep practising and improving my writing. The love of two people was a fitting one to tell for this photo and seeing as though it’s going to be a big ol’ mushy extravaganza on Saturday. It just adds to the love fest that is Valentine’s Day.